A network for the surveillance of tuberculosis covering the WHO European Region was set up in 1996. It aims to improve the contribution of surveillance to TB control, promoting standardised methods to compare countries. Standardized individual or aggregate data on notified TB cases is provided annually from national surveillance institutions. In the enlarged European Union (EU), overall TB notification rates decreased in recent years (14/100 000 in 2002), but leveled off in some countries including France and the United Kingdom, partly due to increasing numbers of patients from high TB incidence areas (30% in 2002). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was much more frequent in the Baltic States (21% in 2002) than in other countries (1.7%; range: 0-3.7%). Treatment of new pulmonary TB cases notified in 2001 was completed within 12 months in 74% of cases, ongoing in 3%, interrupted due to death in 7%, and interrupted for other reasons or unknown in 15%. In the Balkans and Turkey, notification rates ranged between 20 and 62 per 100 000 in 2002, and decreasing or stable except for Romania (153 in 2002). In the East (former Soviet Union), TB surveillance data, although incomplete, shows an increasing incidence (97/100 000 in 2002), high prevalence of primary MDR (14% in Kazakhstan), and frequent treatment failures (10% in new cases). At the time of EU enlargement, European TB surveillance covering the whole WHO European Region should continue, with support of TB control in the East as a regional priority.